Men's Hoops Dismisses McNeese St., 83-72

LSU's Jarell Martin
LSU's Jarell Martin
Kyle Zedaker
Kent Lowe (@LSUkent)
Kent Lowe (@LSUkent)
Communications Sr. Associate

BATON ROUGE – Brian Bridgewater and Jarell Martin racked up career-high scoring performances to spark the LSU men’s basketball team to an 83-72 victory over McNeese State Saturday at the Maravich Center.

Martin exploded for 26 points on 9-of-15 shooting and collected 10 rebounds en route to his fourth double-double on the season. His previous career-high was a 21-point effort during LSU’s season opener versus Gardner-Webb.

Off the bench, Bridgewater garnered 16 points on 7-of-8 from the floor. He notched five rebounds and three steals over his 22 minutes of action. The 87.5 shooting clip for Bridgewater was the best by a LSU player during the Johnny Jones era for a player who has made at least six field goals.

Tim Quarterman and Josh Gray also turned in solid all-around efforts to give LSU (4-2) a quartet of players in double figures. Quarterman came away with 14 points, seven rebounds and six assists. The six assists were a season’s best for Quarterman. Gray picked up 13 points and a season-high seven assists.

McNeese State was fueled by Desharick Guidry's 17 points and 14 rebounds. The Cowboys (2-2) also received 13 points from Jamaya Burr and 12 points from Kevin Hardy.

After being tied up 39-39 at halftime, LSU made a concerted effort to attack the basket out of the locker room. The Tigers responded with a 19-of-29 shooting clip and 30 of their 44 points in the paint during the second half.

Martin picked up where he left off and converted on a pair of driving layup sandwiched around two free throws to get to 20 points at the 17:28 mark of the second half.

With the score even at 47-47 with 17:13 remaining, LSU reeled off eight consecutive points over the next 2:09 to surge ahead. Bridgewater capped the flurry with back-to-back layups.

McNeese State got as close as 60-57 with 11:41 to go after a Hardy layup, but the Tigers responded with another 13-point run over the next 3:54 to put the game away. Bridgewater and Gray ignited the charge with 11 of LSU’s 13 points.

The Tigers knocked down 11 of their opening 18 shots in the first half. Conversely, on the defense end, the Tigers forced McNeese State to misfire on 17 of its 22 initial attempts and built a 30-15 advantage at the 9:10 mark. Martin ripped off the game’s first seven points  

The Cowboys pieced together 24 of the final 33 points over the stanza's last nine minutes to knot the score at 39-39 heading into halftime.

LSU returns to action Tuesday versus UMass at the Maravich Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m., and the game will be televised nationally by the SEC Network.

The LSU Sports Radio Network also will broadcast the game on Eagle 98.1 FM in the Baton Rouge area and inside the Geaux Zone at LSUsports.net/live. Jim Hawthorne, Ricky Blanton and Kevin Ford will call the action.

For all of the latest news and information on Tiger basketball, visit www.lsusports.net/basketball. Fans can also follow the program on its social media outlets at www.Facebook.com/lsubasketball along with @LSUBasketball and @LSUCoachJones on Twitter and @LSUBasketball on Instagram.


LSU Men’s Basketball Postgame Quotes
LSU vs. McNeese State – November 29, 2014

HEAD COACH JOHNNY JONES

Opening Statement …
“We knew coming into the game tonight that we wanted to make sure that we had a chance to grow and get better from past experiences. I thought early on tonight we were able to do that. As a team, we have to continue to develop mindset, attitude and learn how to play with leads. We haven’t done a great job of that, but it’s still early in the season. We have to continue to prepare and make sure that we understand clock management time and make sure we know how to start trying to put teams away that way we get 12 or 14-point leads. I thought Brian Bridgewater did an excellent job tonight stepping in for Jordan Mickey. He needed to fill that void. I thought he played exceptionally well—played a lot of quality minutes and made a lot of quality plays out there tonight. Jarell (Martin) playing for a 40-minute stretch like that tonight on both ends of the floor, I thought he had some great moments tonight. He only took one three (point shot), got into the rim like we asked, got to the free throw line 10 times. I thought that was a big difference in the game. You have to credit Coach Simmons and his McNeese Cowboys for continuing to battle, play hard, staying focused like they did. They never stopped playing extremely hard, which allowed them to stay in striking distance throughout the game.”

On Jordan Mickey’s status…
“Jordan (Mickey) is fine. If he was needed tonight, he would have been available, but he had treatment that past couple of days. We wanted to make sure that we allowed the process to take place there. I think it will, and he will be available for us on Tuesday (against UMass). We look forward to him coming back, getting into practice and getting reps in tomorrow.”

FORWARD JARELL MARTIN

On the team’s play without Jordan Mickey
“Its very tough trying to avoid double teams and strategies is a challenge. When Jordan is in the game, it takes a ton of pressure off of myself. I also take a ton of pressure off of him as well. Without Jordan, it was pretty tough, but we battled through. (Brian) Bridgewater coming off the bench was big. He was really aggressive out there and definitely took some pressure off of me.”

On Brian Bridgewater’s performance …
“It helps a lot. He was being aggressive, finishing plays and came up big for us tonight. I knew he could perform. That is something he does in practice everyday. He pushes Jordan and myself everyday. I knew he would battle tonight. “

FORWARD BRIAN BRIDGEWATER

On his effort during tonight’s game …
“It felt pretty good. I just stepped up when the team needed me. With Jordan (Mickey) out tonight, it was a big opportunity for me to step up.”

On his mindset going into tonight’s game …
“I was just trying to play as hard as a can. Coach (Jones) needed me to step up tonight, and I just wanted to come out and play hard.”

On if he was nervous heading into tonight’s game…
“I am nervous every time, that’s just how I play. I work out the jitters, and it played out well. I’m glad we got the win tonight.”

 

McNeese State Head Coach Dave Simmons

On the play of LSU as a whole…
“You got to give them credit. (Brian) Bridgewater came in and did a heck of a job. I thought his presence made the difference. It gave (Jarell) Martin a little bit extra. Martin basically was a big kid out there scoring. He played well and hit jumpers. I thought we had a chance in the first half when it looked like they got a little leg weary when we caught up. I said ‘We got to keep pushing and pushing and maybe we can get into their legs a little bit more in the second half.’ But they’re a good basketball team. They are a veteran ball team. The biggest thing is we came to play, and that’s what we did.”

On the play of Jarell Martin and Brian Bridgewater …
“You take Bridgewater who sat out last year. Martin’s just a sophomore. No matter how you look at it, he’s a sophomore. That’s the thing about it. They’ve improved as a team. It is tough beating any team on their homecourt, and they proved that tonight. When we made a run at them, they shook a little bit. But they bounced back, had a lot of composure and had the game in hand.”

On the impact Desharick Guidry’s foul trouble had for the team…
“We need him on the floor, but his matchup is such a difficult matchup. You got to play. When you’re guarding Jarell Martin, it’s going to be tough enough stopping him, but you can’t lay back on a guy like that. He had a career night with 26 (points) and 10 (rebounds), double-double – (we) played strong all night for them.”

On what the key was to getting back into the ball game…
“We went back to the zone because Josh’s (Gray) penetration was hurting us. The basket was coming too easy. That’s why we went back zone. When I look back on it, we probably should have went back a little quicker. We played well man-to-man against them earlier, and that’s when we caught back the game up when we played man-to-man. We went back zone obviously to protect Desharick (Guidry) because they were coming right at him. They ran a couple of sets that we knew and (Jarell) Martin scored on those sets. Then if he didn’t get it, (Brian) Bridgewater got it. I thought when they opened up, and we had to go-Josh (Gray)’s penetration really hurt us. We played hard and had opportunities. The little (scoring) drought, I’ll have to go back and look at it play-for-play what happened in that little scoring drought. I know probably missing some free throws and missing two easy lay-ups probably were in that drought, but that’s why you play these games. You get better, and we got better tonight. We got a long season ahead of us, but I’m proud of our kids. I appreciate LSU for playing us.”

 

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